Next steps for the Top 10 research priorities in Occupational Therapy

Published: 19 February 2021

The Occupational Therapy JLA PSP published its Top 10 research priorities in July 2020.  The PSP was convened by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) and throughout the PSP, RCOT’s focus was to ensure that people who access occupational therapy, their carers, occupational therapists and other health and care professionals were involved in every step. 

Identification of the Top 10 research priorities for occupational therapy in the UK was just the start.  RCOT is now targeting a range of activities to make sure that the Top 10 is taken forward and the questions that matter most to people who access and deliver occupational therapy services are addressed.  To achieve this the RCOT team is:

  • Distributing the full report widely from April 2021, including to key research funders in health and social care, developing a paper for submission to a peer-reviewed journal, ongoing promotion via social media, the RCOT website and its newsletters and bulletins, conference and other presentations and workshops. 
  • Linking the Top 10 priorities to funding available to members through the RCOT Research Foundation. 
  • Expanding the range of resources and opportunities offered to develop members’ research-related confidence and skills. 
  • Lobbying for greater access to and uptake of practice-based research-related career pathways. 
  • Working with members of RCOT’s Specialist Sections to support them to identify research questions relevant to their own particular areas of specialist practice that help to address the Top 10. 
  • Supporting our Specialist Sections to engage meaningfully with people with lived experience, including those from under-represented and marginalised groups within society, to ensure they are involved the process of developing specific practice-based research questions. 
  • Sharing questions submitted in the initial consultation survey related to influencing government policy and service provision but out of scope of the OTPSP with the RCOT Professional Practice team to help inform their policy and public affairs work and other campaign and promotional work. 
  • Sharing other out of scope questions submitted in the initial consultation survey and related to education of the public or occupational therapists themselves, career promotion, diversification of the workforce and raising the profile of the profession, with RCOT departments leading ongoing strands of work in those areas. 
  • Using the priorities to try to influence funding calls issued by external research funders in the health and social care environment.

RCOT plans to monitor the impact of the Top 10 in future years through, for example, identifying funded research linked to the Top 10, its findings and impact on practice.

You can read more about the PSP, and find out how they are encouraging the whole community to get involved in addressing the Top 10 research priorities on the RCOT website


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